Résilience - COVID-19 - Résilience - Coronavirus disease 2019

Assessing the Individual and Societal Economic Consequences of Premature Widowhood following the Covid-19 Pandemic – WIDOW19

Submission summary

The covid-19 pandemic has left, and continues to leave, numerous men and women prematurely and unexpectedly widowed. Surviving spouses must not only cope with the psychological consequences of bereavement, but also deal with greater economic hardship following partner loss. Especially younger widows and widowers had less time on the labour market to finish financial preparations for old age and discuss post-bereavement financial planning. The overarching aim of this project is to assess the consequences of increased rates of unexpected widowhood due to the covid-19 pandemic in terms of individual economic wellbeing and societal economic costs. Project members from six French and European universities and institutions will collaborate to address three research questions: A) How does the short and long-term association between widowhood and economic wellbeing vary by the expectedness of widowhood for French men and women? B) What are the economic consequences of the covid-19-induced increase in unexpected widowhood for French society in terms of aggregate costs and old-age inequality? C) What policy options are most effective to mitigate the individual and societal consequences of the covid-19 induced increase in unexpected widowhood? The answers to these questions will not only fill several gaps in social scientific knowledge on widowhood, but provide French and European policy makers with evidence-based policy suggestions to counter and mitigate the individual and societal consequences of widowhood in the short and long-term following the pandemic.

Project coordination

Zachary Van Winkle (Observatoire sociologique du changement)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


ENSAE L'École nationale de la statistique et de l'administration économique
Université de Cologne
ETK Finnish Centre for Pensions
Université d'Oxford
INED Institut National D’Études Démographiques
OSC Observatoire sociologique du changement

Help of the ANR 73,920 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: June 2021 - 12 Months

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